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I am curious, and this is only looking at the words you use. How is Chinese calligraphy encoded. There are, I believe, between 16 and 32 keystrokes to create a given character if it were to be decomposed. Could not something like that be applied to SignWriting? We have a larger character set, but composition would seem to be made of smaller parts into a larger whole. 

Charles Butler

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Clear writing moves business forward.

--- On Mon, 12/12/11, Steve Slevinski <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: Steve Slevinski <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: SignWriting Unicode update and a path forward
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Monday, December 12, 2011, 7:35 AM


  

    
  
  
    Hi Val,

    

    Terms:

    1) dynamic composition - building something from smaller parts.

    2) visual decomposition - breaking something down into smaller
    visual parts.

    3) syntactic decomposition -
    
    construction rules for identification.

    

    

    I've read a lot of the Unicode documents: official documents as
    primary, technical notes as secondary, and critics as third.  I've
    interacted with several types of Unicode people.  I believe I have a
    good understanding of what Unicode was in the past and what Unicode
    is now.

    

    I know what Unicode says on paper, but I don't know the inner circle
    of the committee process and I don't know the existing font
    technology.

    

    It is impossible to have a perfect solution for Unicode that
    satisfies every principle and ideal.  Any encoding process will
    begin with 1 major principle, and everything flows from that.

    

    The Unicode experts, from day 1, started from a different founding
    principle: they understood visual decomposition.  I tried to explain
    my syntactic decomposition, but was told it would never make it
    through committee.  

    

    For the past 2 years, I've had a series of compromises with the
    Unicode process. I'm only happy about the first compromise.  We
    encode the symbols before the script.  This compromise still seems
    to be holding.

    

    The preliminary Proposal incorrectly explained the syntactic
    encoding design.  A committee member noticed the disparity and asked
    for clarification.  A problematic compromise was suggested and
    quickly adopted to continue the committee process.  Just last month,
    this compromise failed and there is no proposal design.

    

    For SignWriting in Unicode, the idea of visual decomposition is in
    the initial stages.  They have not met reality.  They do not have a
    font and they have not processed text.  I do not know how quickly
    their encoding will mature.  I'm assuming they'll have several
    intermediate phases, rather than just throw something together to
    submit in February.

    

    Visual decomposition may integrate well with existing font
    technologies, but visual decomposition is a subset of the higher
    Unicode principle of dynamic composition.

    

    Regards,

    -Steve